mahogany: (Default)
A few days ago, I randomly picked up a book on a friend's desk, and said "What are you reading?" He shrugged and said, I dunno. Someone gave it to me for Christmas but I can't get into it. You can have it."

It wasn't the kind of book I would ordinarily even glance at twice, but I took it home with me for the sheer randomness of it. That was Saturday. 40 pages into it, I put the sequels on hold at the library because I knew I would be wanting to read then ASAP. There was a request queue. By Sunday, I had finished it, and couldn't wait for my turn to come up at the library, so I ran out to Chapters and bought the sequel. My problem is that I finished the sequel last night, and my turn for the third book is at least two weeks away, and the closest book store doesn't have any in stock, and it couple of hours it will be bedtime for the kids, which means I'll have time for myself, and no book to read.

I'm actually desperate enough to borrow my son's eReader, and download the book, which says a lot because I don't enjoy the eReading experience nearly as much as I love the curling up under the covers with an actual book. Also, I tend to flip back and forth between chapters in books, which makes a paper book much better. Ah well, desperate times and all that.

These books took me by surprise. Besides being a genre that I don't normally choose (mystery), they're trashy (which, I actually don't mind, but it's distracting and not fulfilling in the same way good literature is fulfilling), way too wordy and expository, and really dark and depressing in some ways, but I just can't put them down. I love the heroine. But on the other hand, when the third one is finished, that's it. It's back to regular life. I HATE it when good books end. It makes me so sad, that I have to leave that exciting other world. I can re-read the books and re-xperience them, but it doesn't compare to the excitement of that very first reading.

Oh, the books are the Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest


Apparently, he was 3/4 finished a fourth book, and outlined the fifth and sixth, but died of a heart attack before he could even finish the fourth. *cries*
mahogany: (Default)
We've added three more games to our collection since my last review:

Shadows Over Camelot, which we actually purchased back in June

Stone Age, which we bought for the kids for Christmas, and

Forbidden Island, which was an after Christmas impulse purchase.


I had previously posted about Pandemic, which is a cooperative game. Forbidden Island is also a cooperative game designed by Matt Leacock, who also designed Pandemic. It is best described as Pandemic Lite. The game feels much the same as Pandemic, but it is easier and faster to learn, and the game play is shorter. If you have one of the games already, there probably isn't a lot of point in getting the other. Even though the themes are slightly different, there isn't enough difference between the two to warrant having both. The amazing thing about Forbidden Island is the price. I only paid $17 for it, and it actually looks decent. The art work is beautiful, the tiles are of excellent quality, and the "treasure pieces" look and feel very nice.

Shadows Over Camelot is easily the most beautiful game we own. It's produced by the same company that created Ticket to Ride. The instructions booklet is somewhat intimidating at first, and it definitely needs to be played a few times before it becomes fun. It is cooperative game, with an option to make one of the players a traitor that is secretly trying to undermine the game. It's a fun little twist that keeps things interesting. I love this game, but I think it probably appeals most to people that already have a love of Arthurian legends.

We are still in our honeymoon period with Stone Age. It's only slightly more difficult to learn than Ticket to Ride, and immensely satisfying to play. At the moment, it's my favorite game to play with the children. I'm still experimenting with different strategies to determine the most consistent way to win. It appears that there are a number of different strategies that could potentially work, but ultimately, the key to winning lies in making sure that you have enough of the right kind of civilization cards. The vindictiveness factor is moderate. You can block players from gaining cards or spaces that will really clinch the game for them, but doing so, at your own expense is inadvisable (as my ds so painfully discovered Wednesday night). I highly, highly, recommend this game. We have had many, many laughs while playing this game, and the replay value is very high.


We are trying to get a games night happening every last Saturday of the month. Local peeps, if you are interested in joining our rambunctious family for a games night, message me privately and I'll gladly share my coordinates.
mahogany: (Default)
I've been meaning to mention this for a while. I took my mom to see Mahler's 8th Symphony a couple of weeks ago. Measha Brueggergosman was already my favorite soprano in the world before I saw her live.

Hearing her sing was probably my all time best live music experience ever. Mahler's symphony requires eight soloists. Four of them are sopranos. I actually felt bad for the other sopranos having to share the stage with this woman. They were all accomplished singers in their own right, but their voices couldn't even come close to the purity and amazing colour of Brueggergosman's voice. The sound that errupted from her was not of this world. I was left in tears more than once.

And she's Canadian too. Woot!

So yeah, if you ever have a chance to hear her sing live. Run, don't walk to the nearest Tickemaster.

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